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Encyclopedia > Family history (medicine)

In medicine, a family history consists of information about disorders that a patient's direct blood relatives have suffered from. Genealogy typically includes very little of the medical history of the family, but the medical history could be considered a specific subset of the total history of a family. Medicine on the Web NLM (National Library of Medicine, contains resources for patients and healthcare professionals) Virtual Hospital (digital health sciences library by the University of Iowa) Online Medical Dictionary Collection of links to free medical resources Categories: Medicine | Health ... Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ... Medical history can either refer to the History of medicine personal (case) medical history: anamnesis medical history of a family: Family history (medicine) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups affiliated by blood or by a variety of legal ties such as marriage, domestic partnership, adoption, surname and in some cases slavery as was the case in the...


Uses

Although often neglected[1], many doctors glean information on family morbidity of particular diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, cancer) to appreciate whether a person is at risk for developing similar problems. ... Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. ... Diabetes mellitus is a medical disorder characterized by varying or persistent hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar levels), especially after eating. ... When normal cells are damaged or old they undergo apoptosis; cancer cells, however, avoid apoptosis. ...


Family histories may be imprecise because of various possible reasons:

  • Adoption or illegitimacy
  • Lack of contact between close relatives
  • Uncertainty about the relative's exact diagnosis

In complex situations, a family tree may be necessary to cover the necessary aspects. A family tree is generally the totality of ones ancestors, or specifically, a chart used in genealogy to show the family connections between individuals, consisting of the individuals names (usually accompanied by dates, and often also places and occupations) connected by various types of line representing marriages, extra-marital...


Consequences

Not all positive family histories imply a genetic cause. If various members of the same family have been exposed to the same toxin, then they may develop similar symptoms without a genetic cause. A toxin, in a scientific context, is a biologically produced substance that causes injury to the health of a living thing on contact or absorption, typically by interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes and receptors. ...


If a patient has a strong family history of a particular disorder (or group of disorders), this will generally lead to a lower threshold for investigating symptoms.


In diseases with a known hereditary component, many healthy people are now tested early to prevent the symptoms from developing. This has become accepted in cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis and various other disorders. Haemochromatosis, also spelled hemochromatosis, is a hereditary disease characterized by improper processing by the body of dietary iron which causes iron to accumulate in a number of body tissues, eventually causing organ dysfunction. ...


Reference

  1. ^  Rich EC, Burke W, Heaton CJ, Haga S, Pinsky L, Short MP, Acheson L. Reconsidering the family history in primary care. J Gen Intern Med 2004;19:273-80. PMID 15009784.

  Results from FactBites:
 
family history: Information from Answers.com (1255 words)
Family history needs little justification in communitarian societies, where a person's identity is defined as much by their kin network as by individual achievement, and the question "Who are you?" would be answered by a description of father, mother and tribe.
Modern family history explores new sources of status, such as celebrating the resilience of families that survived generations of poverty or slavery, or the success of families in integrating across racial or national boundaries.
In the narrower sense of the term, a family history is a biography of a single family over several generations, based on a tested genealogy and fleshed out with the fuller story of the family's place in society, the dramas of its achievements or failures and its acquisition or loss of wealth and rank.
Family history (medicine) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (284 words)
In medicine, a family history consists of information about disorders that a patient's direct blood relatives have suffered from.
Genealogy typically includes very little of the medical history of the family, but the medical history could be considered a specific subset of the total history of a family.
Use of a genogram can be helpful in a family history, which is in the format of a family tree.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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